Improving Spatial Accessibility to Agricultural Markets in the Afram Plains, Ghana
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Poor spatial accessibility has been known as one of the main factors responsible for the poor development of Afram Plains in Ghana. Spatial accessibility here refers to the capacity to reach one location from another. Due to poor conditions of transport infrastructure in the Afram Plains, many farmers have limited access to local markets. This research, therefore, focused on assessing the current nature of spatial accessibility in the area and explored effective ways to improve the situation.
A mixed method approach was adopted to fulfill this objective. It included an innovative spatial accessibility model that considered a multi-mode transportation system. Also, this research explored the combining effects of developing new road networks and new facilities simultaneously on spatial accessibility. Geocomputation techniques such as multi-criteria evaluation was used in modelling the new road networks and locating the new markets. These methods were aimed at improving spatial accessibility but ultimately, economic development in the area.
The results indicated that a large part of the area has very low spatial access to market. This finding was corroborated by results from the survey; over half of the respondents acknowledged their travel experience to market as extremely difficult. In addition, the south-eastern peninsula and a pocket of areas in the north-east showed up as having the greatest need. Regarding the best way of improving spatial accessibility in the area, the results showed, a combination of new roads, road improvement and new markets to be the best solution to the problem.